Mount Canatuan

Siocon, Zamboanga del Norte

The Subanons have been living on Mt. Canatuan since the 17th century.

Mount Canatuan in Zamboanga, is part of the ancestral domain of the Subanon people. This peak has great spiritual and cultural significance for them as they consider it their most holy place. However, Mount Canatuan is also of great interest to TVI because it has rich deposits of gold and other metals.
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r /> For the last 10 years TVI has been setting up its operations in the area and mor erecently reprocessing mine tailings that were obtained from small scale miners. This year the company started to open cut mine the mountain. If these operations continue it will only be one or two months until the bulldozers reach Timuay Anoy's doorstep and the community will have no choice but to relocate.

However, the community is absolutely opposed to vacating their land. For 15 years the Canatuan Subanon have been trying to protect their claim to their ancestral land. In 2003, the group was finally successful at being the second indigenous group in the Philippines to gain rights to their land through the Indigenous People's Rights Act.

These rights make it illegal for anyone to occupy their land without the approval of the landholders. Thus, TVI is an illegal presence in the area since they do not have the approval of the Canatuan Subanon. However the Government has been slow to recognize the Canatuan Subanons rights in this area. As Anoy states in the appeal:

"We cannot understand why the Government has given the green light for TVI to operate. The Government has stated that TVI's operation is one of answers to stave off the fiscal crisis, but the Mining Act and Mineral Action Plan gives TVI a tax holiday and they can legally repatriate 100% of their profits. Their operation is nothing but a bane to the majority of the people."

Mount Canatuan News

  • IP coalition says mining prosperity a myth

    IP coalition says mining prosperity a myth

    Representing the majority of Mindanao's 18 ethnolinguistic groups, the largest alliance of indigenous peoples (IP) in the region has dismissed anew the claim that mining brings prosperity, and pushed for the repeal of the Philippine Mining Act of 1995.

    "The bias for the unbridled extraction of mineral wealth by multinational corporations has only fuelled violence in the communities and brought unspeakable destruction to the environment. The so-called benefits of mining are just but myths created by those who want to control the exploitation and utilization of our natural resources," shares ...

  • TVIRD opponent shot dead in Siocon firm says guard acted in self defense

    A small-scale miner in Mount Canatuan of Siocon town, Zamboanga del Norte was gunned down 12:30 p.m. Sunday allegedly by a security guard of a mining company there.

    Rudy Segovia, leader of small-scale miners opposed to the mining operations of TVI Resource Development Company, was shot five times and died on the spot.

    The suspect, identified only as Omongia and employed by the Nemeses Security Agency in Ipil, Sibugay Province, has accordingly "surrendered to Timuay Jose "Boy" Anoy, chieftain and administrator of the 8,213-hectare Certificate of Ancestral Domain Title (CADT) area of the S ...

  • Stay Away From Ancestral Lands MILF Warns Mining Companies

    Stay Away From Ancestral Lands MILF Warns Mining Companies

    The Philippines' largest Muslim rebel group, Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF), yesterday warned foreign mining firms against venturing into the southern province of Maguindanao.

    It said tribesmen have threatened to use force should mining firms operate in their so-called ancestral lands.

    The MILF, which is fighting for a separate homeland in the southern Philippines, said a Canadian mining firm, which the rebel group did not identify, is planning to conduct a gold and mineral exploration in the town of South Upi.

    The rebels said the Canadian firm has established ties with an unide ...

  • A River Dies in Siocon TVI Mining Company Disrupts Peace among the Subanons

    A River Dies in Siocon TVI Mining Company Disrupts Peace among the Subanons

    Siocon is like any other town in the Philippines. Endowed with a large area consisting of forests and watersheds, it relies on farming and fishing for livelihood. But the similarities end there. Siocon, located southwest of Dipolog City in Zamboanga del Norte, is a town with abundant mineral deposits. The deposits are of such quantity that it is now a primary target of big mining companies.

    In 1997, TVI Resources Development Philippines, Inc. (TVIRD), a Canadian mining company, acquired mining rights to 486 hectares in Siocon, particularly in Sitio Canatuan. The mining company's operation s ...

  • Interfaith Pilgrimage Holds Rites to Oppose Mining in Siocon

    Interfaith Pilgrimage Holds Rites to Oppose Mining in Siocon

    For two years, Timuay (tribal chief) Jose Anoy has not been able to set foot at his home. Home is Mt. Canatuan, the most sacred place for the 2,000 Subanen people, which has been occupied and encroached upon by the Canadian mining firm Toronto Ventures, Inc (TVI) since 1994.

    Anoy said that the TVI has prevented him from returning home because he refused to give consent for the firm to mine 508 hectares located in the Subanens' sacred land.

    "The company offered me money before, and shares from their profits," he recalled. "Accepting this could have been easy, but being a Timuay, I rem ...

  • Philippines Canada Exchange on Controversial TVI Pacific Mine

    Philippines Canada Exchange on Controversial TVI Pacific Mine

    In October, MiningWatch's Catherine Coumans visited communities affected by TVI Pacific's mine in the municipality of Siocon, on the Zamboanga peninsula of the southern Philippine island of Mindanao. Less than a week after her return to Canada, a delegation from Siocon arrived in Ottawa for a week of meetings in Ottawa and Toronto with government officials, church leaders, non-governmental organizations, Aboriginal organizations, Filipino-Canadians, and the media (see press release and backgrounder on their visit).

    In spite of ten years of community opposition, TVI Pacific has persisted in ...